Story behind the innovation: ThinkSafe Toilet Cleaner
An unhygienic toilet bowl, or a toilet cleaner that’s endangering the health of your family. What do you consider a bigger threat? A less than clean bathroom, or a chemical riddled environment around it. Which one do you think is more harmful? How easy is it to zone-out the sewage that leaves your home, once it literally goes down the drain? How often do you wonder about where it goes and how it could potentially impact you and your family?
The reason we’re down to asking these seemingly impossible questions is that something as basic, simple and in everyday use, as a toilet and bathroom cleaner has today become a threat to the health of human beings that come in contact with them. But that’s not all. Wastewater laden with effluents and residual chemicals from these cleaners such as surfactants and antibacterials is changing the ecology of water, plant and animal life in the environment into which they are released. This is proving to be hazardous not just for the environment itself, but also tipping the balance of essential and non-essential bacteria and microbes around us.
Does the market really need another toilet cleaner?
The question really isn’t about just another toilet cleaner, but one that addresses the need for safe cleaning. It’s what spurred us to go back to the drawing board and innovate to create a more responsible toilet cleaner, one that promotes human health and is also gentle on the environment. The innovation is in steering away from the harmful effects of these problematic components contained in commercial cleaners, that have a range of harmful effects on the environment and human health:
- Surfactants: These are the fundamental components in any household cleaners that have detergents, including toilet and floor cleaners, laundry washing powder, soaps and shampoos, and a range of home cleaning supplies. They are preferred for their propensity to increase wetting and emulsifying qualities in the products in which they are used. However, when wastewater containing a high degree of surfactant content is discharged unchecked into the environment it damages the rate of growth of algae and other microorganisms. This results in an imbalance in aquatic life that sets off a polluting cycle and changes the ecology of the water table itself, as well as the cycle of lives that come into contact with it.
- Antibacterials: Every cleaning product in the market comes with the gallant claim of cleaning out 99% bacteria present in vulnerable areas of our homes, like drains, bathrooms and kitchens. What they don’t mention however is that these very same compounds also indiscriminately wipe out bacteria, and over time can irreversibly alter the microbiome. The microbiome is the sum total of the genetic material including microbes, bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses surviving on and inside the human body. They are responsible for several crucial functions like digestion, regulating the immune system, protecting against harmful bacteria and in some cases also help synthesise vitamins like B12, thiamine and riboflavin, and K. They are vital in ensuring our ability to build immunity, maintain good gut health and fight infection. But when anti-bacterial compounds are absorbed into our systems through the skin as well as air, they attack the ecosystem of the microbiome, causing an imbalance that damages out long-term health. In fact, recent research shows that anti-bacterial compounds present in home cleaners are also responsible for antibiotic resistance and the alarming rise of the superbug.
- Artificial fragrances: The sweet smelling perfume that most cleaners lend to your toilets and bathrooms come from phthalates that are known to considerably disrupt endocrine performance, which can lead to the development of cancerous tumours, widespread widespread congenital disabilities, and several other developmental disorders. This occurs due to the inhibition in the production of essential hormones, which are crucial for body systems to function as needed.
- VOCs: Volatile Organic Compounds are the gases emitted from certain liquids or solids in any indoor environment. These are today one of the most fundamental sources and causes of poor indoor air quality. Typically, the storage and use of a range of household organic products such as varnish, paint, floor and toilet cleaners, liquid detergent are known to release these VOCs that can cause issues ranging from seemingly simple things like ENT irritation, persistent headaches, loss of appetite and nausea, to more chronic and serious conditions like build-up of cancerous cells.
The difference between cleaning and disinfection and what is more appropriate for your home
While the two terms may seem interchangeable to the layperson, there’s a simple but crucial difference between them. Cleaning is the process of removing debris and foreign material that is visible to the eye. This includes dust, dirt, remnants of food particles, plastic and other such materials. The objective of cleaning is to remove all organic material that creates an environment conducive to the build-up of pathogens. Disinfection, on the other hand, is the process of eliminating pathogenic organisms such as bacteria and virus. Ideally, with regular, efficient and safe cleaning processes, the build-up of pathogens remains in control, removing the need altogether to deep disinfect. Disinfection belongs in spaces that require sterile surroundings such as hospitals and scientific laboratories. Our homes, on the other hand, need safe and efficient cleaning systems.
At Organica Biotech, our fundamental objective when developing a safe toilet cleaner was simple: to keep our homes clean without causing any of the known negative side effects to human health ot harm to the environment. Second, as with all alternatives, there was a need to make the solution sustainable in the long run. This led us to the development of ThinkSafe, our exclusive range of non-toxic, non-corrosive, ammonia and biodegradable home cleaning products.
We’ve eliminated some of the most damaging compounds present in commercial cleaners with this range of cleaning products. For example, the fragrances used in this range comes entirely from natural oils, not phthalates. The emulsifying and cleaning action that is typically obtained from surfactants now comes from natural ingredients like palm oil, coconut oil and corn starch. What you get as a result is a product derived from the purest natural ingredients that will do a superior cleaning job, while also taking care of your family’s health and that of the environment too.
This post originally appeared on LinkedIn Pulse